This week has just been jam-packed with videos of Teslas in Smart Summon mode driving nervously and timorously through parking lots, occasionally stopping, sometimes making weird mistakes before owners go running up to them in a panic. One recent video seems to show a police officer pulling over a Tesla for running a stop sign, but, not really surprisingly, it’s fake.
Here’s the video I’m talking about:
So, yeah, that feels pretty fake.
There’s a lot of reasons to think this is staged: it’s in a private parking lot, where police wouldn’t be patrolling, the cop doesn’t seem to notice or care about the two people filming everything, the cop’s reactions, it’s all just pretty suspect.
If only there was some way to be certain, though, right?
Well, happily, there is! You can see that the police car is from the Pembroke Pines, Florida police department, and the friendly cop’s name is clearly visible:
So, I gave Officer Marchetti a call.
Incredibly, I was the first to ask him about this video which was, as you may have guessed, 100% staged. No cop pulled over the Tesla, though it did technically run that stop sign. Officer Marchetti was a little displeased that his name hadn’t been blurred out or anything, but he accepted it with good humour.
I asked if this was real, what would have happened, and he admitted that legally, right now all this is in a sort of grey area. He’s not exactly sure how the law would cover something like this, though he did mention if the car hit anyone or anything, the owner would be responsible.
He also said the Tesla was being very cautious, and seemed “scared to move forward,” and that he felt, while it’s all very impressive and cool, Smart Summon “needs to be refined a lot.”
I didn’t see anywhere in the video where it was admitted it was all set up, so, just in case you’re a newborn, still wiping bits of placenta off yourself as you read this, you might not be aware that you maybe shouldn’t trust everything you see on the internet.
At some point, this will come up, though, and all these interesting and difficult questions of liability and responsibility will arise.
But not just yet.